REUTERS

Oil prices rose on Monday, with Brent heading toward $70 a barrel, as data showed China's economic recovery accelerated at the start of 2021, boosting the energy demand outlook at the world’s largest oil importer.

Brent crude futures for May gained 47 cents, or 0.7%, to $69.69 a barrel by 0438 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April was at $66.10 a barrel, up 49 cents, or 0.8%, as reported by Reuters.

China's industrial output growth quickened in January-February, beating expectations, while its daily refinery throughput data rose 15% from the same period a year ago, data showed.

Read alsoTimmermans: Europe doesn't need Nord Stream 2Further supporting prices, top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has cut the supply of April-loading crude to at least four north Asian buyers by up to 15%, while meeting the normal monthly requirements of Indian refiners, refinery sources told Reuters on Friday.

The supply cuts come as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, decided earlier this month to extend most of its supply cuts into April.

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